• Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Modi arrives in Abu Dhabi to inaugurate first Hindu temple BAPS

Abu Dhabi, Feb 13 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting with UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in Abu Dhabi, UAE on Tuesday. (ANI Photo)

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

INDIA’S prime minister Narendra Modi arrived in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday (13) on a two-day visit, which will include the inauguration of the first Hindu stone temple in Abu Dhabi.

This is Modi’s seventh visit to the UAE since 2015.

In his statement before his departure, Modi spoke of further advancing India’s comprehensive strategic partnership with the UAE.

“Over the last nine years, our cooperation with UAE in diverse sectors such as trade and investment, defence and security, food and energy security and education has grown manifold. Our cultural and people-to-people connect is stronger than ever,” he said.

“I look forward to meeting Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of the UAE, in Abu Dhabi and holding wide-ranging discussions on taking forward our comprehensive strategic partnership,” Modi said.

Boosting cooperation in areas of energy, ports, fin-tech, digital infrastructure, railways, and investment were set to be on the agenda for talks between the two leaders on Tuesday.

The UAE and India are among each other’s top trading partners with a bilateral trade of about $85 billion in 2022-23, according to official data. The UAE is also among the top four investors in India in terms of foreign direct investments in 2022-2023.

Modi was welcomed with a guard of honour on his arrival.

In Abu Dhabi, Modi is scheduled to inaugurate the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Mandir, the first Hindu stone temple in Abu Dhabi, on Wednesday (14).

Swami Ishwarcharandas presents the official invitation for the inauguration of the BAPS Hindu Mandir, Abu Dhabi to Modi

“I will also inaugurate the first Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi. The BAPS temple will be an enduring tribute to the values of harmony, peace and tolerance, which both India and the UAE share,” the prime minister said.

The BAPS temple, located off the Dubai-Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Highway, has come up on around 27 acres of land in Abu Dhabi; work on the place of worship began in 2019.

The land for the temple was donated by the UAE government.

The UAE has three other Hindu temples that are located in Dubai. The BAPS temple, spread over a large area with stone architecture, will be the largest of all in the Gulf region.

Modi was also due to address the Indian community members on Tuesday evening at an event called ‘Ahlan Modi’ (Hello Modi in Arabic) at the Zayed Sports City Stadium.
“I will address the members of the Indian community from all the Emirates of the UAE at a special event in Abu Dhabi,” he said.

“We are very proud of our diaspora and their efforts to deepen India’s engagement with the world. This evening, I look forward to being among UAE’s Indian diaspora at the #AhlanModi programme!” Modi posted on X.

Modi is scheduled to travel to Doha on Wednesday afternoon after concluding his two-day visit to the UAE.

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